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Oil and Gas Investment Scheme Perpetrators Settle SEC Charges

May 13, 2016

On May 9, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered a final judgment against Charles O. Couch of Irving, Texas and his company, Couch Oil & Gas Inc., enjoining them from offering or selling securities and from violating antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The final judgment also requires them to pay more than $7 million in monetary relief. The SEC alleged that Couch and his company falsely claimed that investors would receive working interests in oil and gas wells when Couch and Couch Oil & Gas retained those working interests and never transferred them to investors. The complaint also alleged that offering materials given to investors contained unsubstantiated and inflated projections about anticipated production and that the defendants commingled and misapplied investor proceeds by using funds from one project to pay expenses in another without investors' knowledge and contrary to what the defendants promised.

The SEC’s investigation and litigation was conducted and led by the following members of the Fort Worth Regional Office: Janie L. Frank, Timothy L. Evans, Jessica Magee, David Reece Tamara McCreary, Ty Martinez, Joseph Dugan, Douglas Gordimer, Jonathan Scott, and David Peavler. For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23536 (May 11, 2016) and Litigation Release No. 22990 (May 13, 2014).

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